Guiding Chiral Self-Propellers in a Periodic Potential

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Abstract

Ingenious suggestions continue to be made for separation of racemic mixtures according to the inert structural chirality of the constituents. Recently discovered self-motile micro- or nanoparticles express dynamical chirality, i.e., that which originates in motion, not structure. Here, we predict how dynamically chiral objects, with overdamped dynamics in a soft periodic two-dimensional potential, can display not only separation into well-defined dynamical subclasses defined by motility characteristics, but also the ability to be steered to arbitrary locations in the plane by simply changing the amplitude of the external potential. Orientational and translational diffusion produce new types of drift absent in the noise-free case. As practical implementation seems feasible with acoustic or optical fields, these phenomena can be useful for laboratory microscales manipulations, possibly including reconfigurable microfluidic circuits with complex networks of unidirectional channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118101
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume115
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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